BLACK LIGHTNING Season 2 Brings Back the OUTSIDERS, Aims to Foster Racial Understanding

Black Lightning
Credit: The CW

Black Lightning comes back for its Sophomore season starting October 9 on the CW, moving to the network’s fall schedule. Newsarama had a chance to talk to the cast and crew of the television show at Comic-Con International: San Diego to get you the scoop on what to expect from Black Lightning season 2.

Black Lightning himself, Cress Williams, when speaking about the premiere said, “The show picks up about a week after the finale, and the through line at the beginning of the season is consequences.”

Executive producer Salim Akil discussed the political items we will see in the upcoming season, “The continuation of the green light effect. Green light, and I’m sure you all know, is just a metaphor for crack and how it invaded the black community. It’s also a metaphor for the opioid addiction in the white community.”

“What we intend to do is give a strong nod to the comic books,” he continued. “The first four episodes will be under the banner of the book of consequences. The rise of the green light babies. We are going to continue to deal with the aspect of the children being in the pods and experimentation in the community.”

“But one of the things we also want to do, I think this would be interesting, is that one of the biggest stereotypes in America is that all white people are rich and doing great,” Akil explained. “One of the things we intend to show is that’s not the case because that stereotype not only hurts the country - it hurts white folk and it hurts black people because it gives you the idea that there are some people that are supreme and not experiencing the same thing as you. One of the things the opioids addiction has done is that even the cultural playing field. We had crack, and in the white community there’s opioids. What we’ve said in our show this season is that the same people have put the same type of things in the same type of communities - poor communities.”

”We want to build a bridge, someone asked me earlier what genre of television I want to do, I want to do the genre of what I would call bridge building, is that your ass is poor in the white community, our ass is poor in the black community,” he concluded. “Now you may not be getting shot like we do in our communities, but you are going through some similar things, and if we keep pretending that we don’t have more shit in common than we have differences than we are going to continue to be exploited as Americans.”           

Akil also spoke about the Outsiders, saying “You will see more of it. I mean it’s not a secret. It’s just the choices of who, and what their powers will be. Grace Choi is coming back. So that’s going to be fun, most people don’t know that.”

In regard to Anissa’s love life actress Nefessa Williams said, “You will see a little bit more of Anissa’s love life, and her trying to juggle and manage love, career, being an activist, and her family is always reminding her don’t forget that you need to get out there. She’s so hell bent on justice and fighting for her community that sometimes she forgets that she needs to look for love. You’ll see more of that this season.”   

Nefessa Williams also added what she wanted to see with her hero dynamic with her sister this season, explaining “She tries to convince her (Jennifer) that this is a gift that we are supposed to be using and we are not normal, face it, we are who we are. I want to see in Season 2 us teaming up and hitting the streets together. Can you imagine how fun and bad ass that would be?”

China Anne McClain gave us a huge teaser about her character’s step into super heroics, saying “We are filming right now, and we’ve only done a few episodes so far, but I have seen my suit. I have done a fitting for it, I hope I’m not saying too much, but whatever, and I can say you guys are going to like it. It’s different from Thunder and Black Lightning.”

She also says, “I think she’s going to be a very sassy superhero. Like at the end of the season we got to see her pick up Proctor and slam him on his side with her powers. I feel like she’s going to be doing a lot of stuff she shouldn’t be doing that’s just spur of the moment like that. So, she’s going to have to live up to the name of superhero not just this is a teenager with some super powers.”    

During the SDCC panel, it was announced that Jordan Calloway who plays Jennifer’s boyfriend Khalil AKA Painkiller has been promoted to series regular. McClain said, “Jennifer acts like she doesn’t have time for him. She’s like I hate you, you killed my Dad – even though Khalil does not know Black Lightning is her father, he doesn’t know she has superpowers. All of this underlining anger she has he’s confused by it, like why are you tripping. That’s something we are going to dive deep into this season.”    

Black Lightning returns for its second season on the CW October 9.



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